HLN Meets: Nourish Bud
Healthy, vegan meals inspired by exotic cuisines, without any of the prep time? Sign us up!
In partnership with Nourish Bud
When Rebecca Tonks and her husband Luke quit their day job to go travelling back in 2018, little did they realise they’d be returning to the North East raring to start their own business just a couple of years later. But after inspiration struck in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, that’s exactly what they did – and they’ve been bringing healthy, sustainable food to the doorsteps of the good people of Newcastle ever since.
Now with business thriving and the light at the end of this lockdown tunnel looming ever closer, Nourish Bud are here to transform the way we think about plant-based diets, one ready meal at a time. We caught up with Rebecca to find out a little more.
Tell us about Nourish Bud – what’s the business all about?
We’re here to help people ‘embrace plant based’. There are some brilliant companies out there encouraging us to substitute a meat meal for a plant-based meal – we take this one step further, and help our customers to try a quality, 100% plant-based diet.
We make, package, and deliver ready-to-eat vegan meal plans directly to our customers. All meal packages are completely calorie/macro-nutrient controlled to suit each individual’s personal health goals. Our plans are available for three, five or six days a week (and you can order for multiple weeks at a time to receive a discount!).
We also have a whole-foods ingredient philosophy and never use additives, preservatives or highly-processed food. Everything is made entirely from scratch – right down to our plant milks, curry powers and falafels – which is reflected in the nutritional content of our meals.
What are some of the biggest benefits of eating a largely plant-based diet?
Firstly, the personal health benefits. Plant-based food is just incredible for our bodies. Crammed with vitamins, minerals, and (super-importantly) fibre, a quality and varied plant-based diet really does give us everything we need to live a long and healthy life, and the greater the variety that we can eat, the better.
There’s also the environmental impact. The environmental strain from producing livestock for food is huge, so a plant-based diet is a fabulous way to reduce our personal carbon footprints. We take our own sustainability very seriously – 100% biodegradable packaging, zero food waste and sourcing our products locally are just some of the policies we’ve put in place to ensure that environmentally-conscious customers feel comfortable buying from us.
Then there’s animal welfare. Eating a vegan meal means that no animals were harmed to make it, which can only be a plus!
What are some of your best-selling meals?
The Asian Satay Wok has been a bestseller since day one and it’s all about the sauce! Garlic, ginger and soy stir-fried veg and wholegrain rice doused in a divine (homemade) satay sauce. Our Coconut Cauli Curry is really popular too – roast cauliflower and lentils simmered in a fragrant in-house curry blend with homemade coconut milk. Making ingredients like plant milks from scratch makes such a difference to their taste and ensures our meals are as nutritious as possible!
What about the build-your-own package option – can you tell us a bit more about that?
The build-your-own is for people who want to experience what Nourish Bud is all about while keeping the freedom to create their own, bespoke meal plan. We offer breakfasts, snacks and main meal options to choose from that we deliver on a Sunday and a Wednesday. It’s really popular with people who want to stock their fridge with healthy, tasty options that are convenient for when they’re busy or on-the-go a lot.
Can we order one-off meals from Nourish Bud or do we have to commit to a plan?
We’ve made our offering flexible, as everyone’s routines are different. Our packages offer three-, five- or six-day options which can be purchased for either one week, two weeks or four weeks at a time. This allows customers to try a plant-based lifestyle for just a few days, or commit to up to a month in advance. If someone just wants to select a few meals to stock their fridge, the build-your-own option is perfect.
Many people are put off eating plant-based meals because of the prep time. How easy is Nourish Bud to use?
Eating a quality, varied and tasty plant-based diet requires a lot of planning and preparation, we totally understand that. But convenience is one of our core values and so we’ve made it super simple to order from us.
Any customer can simply visit our website, select ‘shop’, then choose which package suits them best. From there, they can select the number of days and weeks they wish, and all prices and discounts are automatically applied. Simply add to cart, enter your delivery information and that’s all there is to it. That Sunday, there’ll be a Nourish Bud cool bag on your doorstep filled with delicious vegan meals! Deliveries are Sunday and Wednesday to ensure all food is as fresh as possible.
And do we need any extra ingredients to make the meals you deliver?
None at all! Everything you need has been freshly prepared and is ready for you to tuck into. All you need to do is reheat any meals that are best enjoyed hot.
You and Luke have both adopted plant-based lifestyles yourselves. What results did you both see in the way you were feeling?
Rebecca: I’ve suffered from stomach issues and have been lactose intolerant for years, so my health was a major driving factor in transforming my diet. I’ve been amazed by the results! I have more energy, far less bloating and inflammation, and generally feel so much better within myself. I’ve definitely seen my skin improve as a result, too.
Luke: I’m a big eater – I’ve always loved food (and a lot of it!) and I love an active lifestyle, so I’ve found incorporating high-protein, plant-based snacks and smoothies really works for me. I feel energised every day and recovery from workouts is no issue at all. I think that’s something that worries a lot of gym-goers when they think about a plant-based diet, but if anything I find it works better!
What’s your advice to others wanting to start eating more plant-based meals?
Get your store cupboard ingredients in! There are a few staples that make cooking vegan meals so much easier and open up a range of different, delicious options. Things like tinned chickpeas, beans and lentils as your go-to source of protein are key. Nutritional yeast is great for adding a cheesy flavour to dishes, and tahini to make delicious and creamy sauces. Finding a plant milk that you like and can use as a substitute is a great place to start too. We love almond milk in oats for breakfast, but it’s great in soups too!
What’s a common myth you’d like to bust about plant-based diets?
Protein myths are the big one here. There’s an unfortunate misconception that you need animal products to get complete proteins in your diet. It couldn’t be further from the truth. A varied plant-based diet, which incorporates fantastically-high protein ingredients like lentils, tahini, chickpeas and nuts, is a great way to get quality protein into your diet.
There’s also the myth that plant-based meals can be boring. We’d just encourage them to try Nourish Bud and see how flavoursome they are!
What’s one of your favourite Nourish Bud meals?
I absolutely love our noodle dishes! They’re full of flavour with just the right amount of fire – plus they remind me of travelling and having amazing street food on tap!
What does the post-COVID future of Nourish Bud look like?
Full-steam ahead! We’ve recently expanded to cover much more of the North East in our delivery radius. Post-COVID, we’ll be expanding nationwide to encourage the whole of the UK to try plant-based meals!
Right now, our meals are brilliant for reducing people’s shopping time, making working from home easier, and making a healthy lifestyle more accessible in a time when it’s a real struggle for a lot of people. Post-COVID, our meals will be perfect to take in to work for a convenient lunch, and return home from work to a delicious and healthy meal without having to cook. Once everyone’s hectic lifestyle resumes, a Nourish Bud package will be a fantastic tool to create more ‘me-time’.
Our Editor Laura is currently using Nourish Bud to trial a plant-based lifestyle (paid for, not as part of this partnership). Follow her on Instagram @editor_high_life_north to see her meals and follow her journey.